Ready for a Holiday #writerslife #writing #amwriting

Sick club…

I’ve not been well for a few months now with a cold and then a cough that just won’t go away. But this is my last week of work and then I am taking a three week holiday. Really looking forward to a nice relaxing breakā€¦.Okay, and maybe just a smidgen of fun šŸ˜‰

Back to the blog…

So, I’m well and truly fed up of the sick club and can’t wait to get back to blogging. I have some fun blog posts queued up and will get cracking on them while I am on holiday! So pull up your chair and get the popcorn out!

Happy holidays…

I’ll be in Brisbane for Christmas and New year, and I will also drop a couple of posts of our travels while there. It’s been over five years since my last visit and I expect it will have changed a fair bit. It’s a long flight from Perth, too, so any scifi or fantasy reading recommendations would be appreciated!

Writerly stuff…

When I wasn’t feeling sorry for myself I was busy writing my new book series. I’m into editing now and happy with the way the book turned out. I usually aim for 100-110k and then cut about 10-20%. This time I didn’t quite make 90k in the draft and it’s tracking at around 80k after the first editing cull. I normally struggle to keep the word count down so this is a new experience for me! I’m comfortable with the storyline and will see how it feels as I read. Sometimes gaps become obvious later, but I would rather it was a good 80k than try and pad it out!

Book 2 for the Divided World Series should be coming out in print soon. And Book 3 just needs a final read, so lots coming in the new year!

Let’s get creative…

I’ve had a lot of fun writing the new book. It was nice to get back into the creative side of writing after so long editing and tweaking the last series. But now the draft is done, I do enjoy the editing šŸ™‚

Happy reading and writing! šŸ™‚

Divided Serenity Book 1 #FREE tomorrow (12th) across all Amazon stores!

Available FREE tomorrow across all Amazon stores!Ā [Click here for your local Amazon store]

John Tanis dreams of killing the man responsible for his exile.

Once loyal to the civilized Aterra, John now fights for Shadowland. But the mysterious arrival of technology outside the wall heralds change.

With the dividing wall crumbling his new loyalties will be tested, and he must choose between revenge and saving the people he once loved.

Why everyone needs a book friend #amreading #books

The books we choose to love are intensely personal items.

For every person who loves a book, there will beĀ another who canā€™t abide it.

How often do you see a book that you thought was brilliant with a singleĀ one star review?

Or something you thought soĀ terrible that you could not bear to read another page,Ā butĀ half the reading community thinks it’s the best thing since sliced bread.

It happens all the time.

So when you meet someone, and discover that they love the same books as you…well, thatā€™s the best kind of bookish friendship.

“There is no faster or firmer friendship than those formed between people who love the same books.”

What every writer wants for Christmas #amwriting #books

Well, it’s that time of year again where we start thinking about writerly gifts šŸ™‚

1. Pencils!

Sit down and get Writing! – TheseĀ pencils areĀ sure to increase your productivity!

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2. Mugs!Ā 

The best literary mugsĀ – you know you want one!

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3. Cushions!

Bibliophile Cushion DesignsĀ – bookish cushions and pillowsĀ – perfect to throw at anyone who interrupts your reading time!

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4. Kindle Covers!

Kindle case book coversĀ – If you don’t have a real book – fake it! …and pretend you are reading something far more literary than 50 Shades of Grey!

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5. Soap!

Soap for writers blockĀ – all you need is a shower and your writers block days are over!

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IF AREA EDITOR READS A POINTLESS TRAINING SESSION ONE MORE TIME

Great points! I think I may have started reading a few of theseā€¦and then stopped. šŸ™‚

Fantasy Author's Handbook

With a nod to the Onionā€¦

Iā€™m trying not to fly off the handle, but please indulge me, at least at first, in a bit of tough love.

If your current work in progress contains a scene, or worse, a sequence of scenes, in which the young protagonist spends his or her days at sword training or magic training or frickinā€™ social studies you must immediately highlight all of that text and delete it now, before it does you any actual harm.

And it will do you harm.

By now I hope you know that Iā€™m not big on hard rulesā€”you have to do this, you can never do thatā€”but the obligatory fight training has, for me at least, gone from clichĆ© to actual annoyance. And itā€™s in at least half the books I readā€”maybe two thirds.

As far as I can tell, hereā€™s why those scenes are thereā€¦

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How to turn ideas into a story #amwriting #writing

As the saying goes, stories don’t just write themselves, which means that you, the writer, need to put some effort into the process if you want those wonderful ideas to become a book.

How do you turn ideas into a story?

And where do you start?

Firstly, you need to start is by writing. Some people talk about world building, or scene setting. Some people talk about characters. Some people start with a plan.

I say, ditch all of the above and just jump straight into writing.

Why?

Because until you jumpĀ in you don’t really know where your idea is going to take you. Whether it is a single scene or an epic ending, it doesn’t matter just write it down.

Some people get very fixated on where to start, as if you cannot begin unless you have a firm container in which to place the story.

Writing doesn’t need a container. It just needs a writer and an idea.

When a writer begins writing, something magic happens. They startĀ thinking about what happens before the seed idea, and what happens after…and what happens much later…and what happens much earlier. And beforeĀ you know it, a rough timeline of events is established.

None of this happens until you begin to write so don’t feel you need a plan, or a character profile, or a fully fleshed out world before you can begin.Ā You will need all of these things, but not right now. Now is for fun, and for playing and testing your idea.

Some of these new ideas will become backstory that may be discarded later on.

Some of the ideas may not fit in with the overall story as you fill in the gaps, and you may discard them too.

Once you have enough ideas, or scenes, you can plan, and flesh out character profiles, and worlds, or locations if need be…but not until you have enough ideas to at least hint at a story.

Ideas do not always become a full story, so don’t feel bad if you try and then find it goes nowhere.

Keep thinking, keep generating and testing ideas. The more you practice writing and using your ideas, the more ideas will come. Eventually one of them will become a story, a real story, aĀ full story.

And that’s when the real writing begins šŸ™‚

What’s your favourite book genre? (Blog reader survey!) #amwriting #amreading

Looking forward to seeing how everyone votes.

You can pick more than one.

OnceĀ you vote you can see the results. šŸ™‚

If you really want to know yourself, start by writing a book #writing #amwriting

How does writing help you to know yourself? And what does it say about you that you love to write?

Perhaps we reveal ourselves in our character choice, our writing style or genre, or even in the quality of our work.

Is there a depth of compassion in the words that we write?

Or do we demonstrate prowess in a particular topic or skill?

I thought I would take a more generic approach, and look at what we learn about ourselves when we write a book that is unconnected to genre, style or writing capability.

We have stamina

It takes a long time.

We write asĀ often as we can, chippingĀ away aĀ word at a time at a goal that we might not seeĀ realised for years.

We have determination

We use our determination to sustain us through the journey.

We pick ourselves up from distractions by our unwavering belief that the story within us must come out.

We are eternal students

We learn all we can about writing, we keep learning, and then we learn some more.Ā 

We are resilient

Set-backs, delays, and real-life can hold up ourĀ writerly dreams, but we pick ourselves up, and keep moving forward.

WeĀ treatĀ feedback as a gift.

We have a vision

We have a vision for our work and for ourselves as a writer.

Imagination

When we begin there is a blankĀ piece of paper.

We use our imagination and words to create worlds, characters and story.

“If you really want to know yourself, start by writing a book.”

~ Shereen E Feki